FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO -- My daughter and I just finished coming from a movie, and since she skipped dinner and went swimming earlier, she had quite the appetite. The first place we came across was a Sonic. I was driving my 2002 Chevy Silverado (foreshadowing), and drove past the dine-in area where you can park and eat, and onto the drive-through area. The intercom (order box) is on the backside in the middle of a U-turn. There are yellow pylon-like barriers on the outer edge (passenger side). The barriers leave very little room for any vehicle other than a compact or mid-size.
Being in the Silverado, I pulled around the outside of them, as though I was just going to drive through the parking lot. I then checked to make sure no one else was in line or coming anytime soon, and then began to back up to the intercom from the front side. As soon as I had my truck positioned, a young man (presumably 16+/-) then came over the intercom and asked me to pull all the way around the building, past the pick-up window and all the way around from where I just came from. I asked him what the problem was.
I thought for a split second that may be I hadn't tripped their sensor, but then immediately realized that I had to have, or else how was he talking to me, without visual eye contact. The next response uttered from his mouth nearly floored me. He said because I had backed in, and they don't like people doing that. I said, "Okay, well my truck didn't fit through the U-turn, yada-yada-yada, but I'm here now." Can you still take my order. If his first statement wasn't shocking enough, the next sentence flabbergasted me. He said I STILL needed to pull around because "he saw me back-in". It was as though he was attempting to play a power trip.
He physically wanted to see me pull around or else he wasn't going to take my order. I told him that I am sitting at the intercom, regardless of how I arrived there, so would he please take my order. That's when things got interesting. He snaps, "FINE... WHAT CAN I GET YOU THEN!" I said I would like a #1 (Sonic Burger w/ fries & a medium Dr. Pepper). He began asking mayo, mustard, or ketchup... fries or tots, etc... and cutting me off each time before I could complete my answer. My daughter said, "What's his problem?" I told her I'm not sure, but I've had enough of this conversation and condescending attitude for one night.
I asked to speak to his manager. A few seconds later, a very polite woman asked me to pull forward to the window. She was very apologetic and sincere, and asked me to repeat my order. I did and she rang up the transaction very professionally. End of story, right? WRONG! This is where things really take off and escalate. A different young woman, about the same age as the young man I dealt with earlier on the intercom, comes to hand us our bag of food (no drink). She slides the window open and literally STARED at my daughter and I for what seemed like an eternity, with the cheesiest smirk I have ever seen in my life. No exaggeration!
The look on her face spoke with a sarcastic tone saying, "Go ahead... enjoy the spit." My daughter looked at me and said, "What was that all about?" I said, "Okay, then you saw her expression too. It wasn't just my imagination." I then yelled through the window (not because I was mad, but because they closed it and couldn't hear me), "Excuse me!" The manager slid the window open and asked what else I needed. I said that they hadn't given me my drink. And I also questioned her as to the attitude of the lady that handed the food to us. She asked what I was talking about. My daughter and I both explained the sneer and smirk she had given us.
Again, the manager apologized. She was very professional. As she was talking and apologizing to us, another crew member (thuggish looking) was peering through the window over the manager's shoulder. I asked her what his problem was, and that I didn't need an audience and didn't appreciate the intimidating feeling my daughter was beginning to have. I could tell by her body language that she was getting extremely uncomfortable. The manager then asked me to calm down. I politely told her I was very calm, that it was in fact the rest of her crew that needed to calm down.
I asked for the store #, along with the General Manager's phone number. Being that it was pretty late, I'll have no choice but to visit in the morning. It comes as no great surprise to any of the regular members on this site just how much I eat out at fast food restaurants. Let me tell you... I WILL NEVER EAT AT THIS LOCATION AGAIN. Somethings I can let slide, while others I cannot. This is falling under the latter of the two. I will contact the General Manager tomorrow, and if I don't feel an acceptable resolution and apology has been made to my daughter and I, I will take it a step further and go to corporate.
I will keep you updated for those that are reading this review. P.S. The manager on-shift that night (sorry I didn't catch her name) was EXTREMELY professional in dealing with me as a customer. It was the other three employees that have no business whatsoever in the customer service industry. FYI... I drove down the street, ordered McDonald's and threw the bag of Sonic in the trash. We both looked at each other and were FULLY convinced they spit in it or something worse.
BUFORD/FLOWERY BRANCH/BRASELTON, GEORGIA -- Sonic Not-so-Special 5 for $5.95. Funny thing how advertising works for this company. Most days I pass through Sonic (which avgs 3 times a week) they have signs posted on their marquee and around the drive-through and the drive up window with their " for $5.95 Tuesday special". Of course, today is Tuesday so I head over to get their advertised special. Upon arrival, I look for the signage to confirm I've come on the correct day. Not a single sign in sight anywhere on the premise.
With the employee coming over the intercom asking for my order, I stated "Is today the 5 for $5.95 special??" The reply was "What would you like on your burgers?". Again I asked, "is this the day for the 5 for $5.95 special". The reply this time was "yes, would you like cheese on your burgers?". My reply followed as "I'd like whatever comes on them with the $5.95 special". Their reply was "you can get them any way you want". I replied "OK, however them come. I'd also like.. (drinks and tots)". They told me the total cost and said to pull to the window.
I paid the amount told to me $17.56. Took my food and headed home. Once home, I decided to look over the receipt to confirm the $5.95 special. So.. doing a little math: $14.95 - 6.50 = $8.45 - funny, that's NOT $5.95. Next step called the store asked for the manager. The gentleman on the phone says "speaking". I asked "Is this the manager?" The reply "Yes". I asked "What is your name?" His reply "**".
I proceeded to explain: "I just went through the drive-through, and asked for the $5.95 special. The receipt says they charged $14.95 then gave a credit of $6.50, that means they charged me $8.95 for my $5.95 special." His reply "It's extra for the cheese". My response "I asked for the $5.95 special, they asked if I wanted cheese, I said I'll take whatever comes on them for the $5.95 special. I never did say I wanted cheese". His response "Well, we make the burgers individually to whatever you want". I responded "I told the order taker 3 times, whatever comes on the $5.95 special".
He finally said "I'm sorry for YOUR confusion. The cheese is 40 cents extra per burger. I can put your name in our book for a credit for the cheese on your next visit. If you give me your name, I'll credit you with a $2 coupon". I accepted his offer at face value and gave my name - conversation ended. But then after hanging up.. it hit me.. $8.45 - $2.00 = $6.45. Still NOT $5.95 - I'm still screwed.
So, I call back the store. ** answers. I stated "I just called a minute ago about the $5.95 special issue. Are you the location manager or shift manager?" His reply "I'm the assistant manager." I then asked for the store location number (5756 Spout Springs Road) and the general manager's name (**). Told him I'd be contacting the general manager, the district manager, corporate headquarters and that I'd be posting this anywhere & everywhere I can on the internet.
One other thing I've been pondering is their special for slush drinks. Seems they have afternoon half price specials. I've noticed they seem to charge a "surcharge" of 20 cents for the flavor on these drinks. If I get this right, with the price and surcharge, that comes to more than half price. Does anyone besides me see deceptive advertising and practices here??? Any legal eagles want to file a class action suit to get their attention?? Maybe the greed for profits has skewed the focus of management, but considering a similar issue has occurred in my past with this company, it seems to be a business plan in place to accomplish this deception.
Advertising, discounts and specials used to bring in new customers, used to give a value to existing loyal customers, used to bring in revenue and interest in otherwise slow time periods for the business. So much for good rapport with your customer base Sonic!! So, if you're tired of being taken advantage of or if you've had the same discourteous schemes played out against you, feel free to write me with your stories, and I'll gladly post them on every board I come across that I can post on.
BRISTOL, VA -- Ordering the .99 sundae... the nerve.. I go with my family, order 4 .99 sundaes after asking to confirm they are .99. The sundaes are brought to me and am told the charge is $6.00. I asked how that is if 4 X .99 = $3.96, the reply was "well they are normally $2.19 you still are getting a deal." Then I asked for a manager who came out and argued with me in front of my family. So the ticket reads subtotal = $5.36 and the tax = $.64 is a Bristol, VA Sonic off Exit #7.. I paid and called the corp # and was told that they were sorry this happened and for my experience but no attempt to make it right... Don't go here is my suggestion. Go get the sundaes elsewhere.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- ** says, "Your comment is awaiting moderation." May 19th, 2009 at 8:51 am, greed abounds. The federal government says that “tipped” employees (even if it isn't done by many of you very often) do not have to be paid minimum wage. Here in Texas, most Sonic pay 3.13 to carhops. And most of you think that Sonic employees don't deserve to be tipped? You wonder why you get bad service? Try tipping. You see, McDonald's, Hardee's, etc. don't have a tradition of tipping, and consequently, they DO receive the hardly adequate minimum wage.
The employer takes advantage of the law, and though they know that Sonic canceled credit card tips on their new machines, they take advantage of the car hop and lower the wage, knowing many days they don't make this minimum wage. We believe that Sonic canceled the credit card option to prevent theft, which does occur EVERYWHERE…. but the solution is not to cancel the credit card tip option. You prosecute the thief. People steal everywhere. What if a clothing store shut down because they wanted to control theft. Stupid, huh? Sonic needs to bring back credit card tips, which would improve service, believe me.
What kind of employees are going to stay working at Sonic for 3.13 an hour (that's all most servers in restaurants get also). It is hot outside, and with everyone running their vehicles incessantly (why?) you can't believe the heat. Sonic is quite a bit more difficult than you would think, that is if you do it right. Ever tried skating serving food? The other aspect to good service is a good manager. Carhops don't have control over a poorly run store, where the manager under-hires to put more money in his pocket.
You love Sonic? I do too, and was one of their top employees, but won't go back unless they change the credit card status. I'm one of the best (been tipped 100 dollar bills, believe it or not) but now am only worth 3.13? Customers, stop taking advantage of this credit card situation, and TIP, in cash or don't eat there. Call the company to re-engage the credit card situation to get back all of us good employees (years of experience). Your phone calls will work, eventually, and then, you will get great service at many Sonics again.
Until then, stay away. Nobody wants to do their best if they are only getting this little amount. Remember, you don't have to tip if the service is not adequate. Running in and outside is very different from working in air conditioning. Sometimes, it is almost unbearable.
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA -- Tonight's the second time a Sonic restaurant has gotten my order horrendously wrong. The first time was when I ordered a #5, tots and root beer at the one near my workplace. Now, I walked there, and I'm sitting in the little table area. Apparently, they must have given my order off to someone else. I waited for 10 minutes and got rather impatient, so I asked one of the people there to check on my order for me.
I told him exactly what I ordered, a #5 with large tots and a large root beer. Instead, I got a #5 with small fries and a root beer with no ice. The receipt stated that whoever ordered this didn't even get root beer, no, they got a sprite, and I never said "no ice" either. I was already running a little late getting back from lunch so I didn't want to wait God knows how long just to get my order straightened out. I have to think, how the hell does someone who ordered fries and a sprite with no ice walk off with root beer WITH ice and tots?
Second time (tonight), I ordered a #5 and a peanut butter shake, pretty simple right? Well, apparently not, again the only thing right with the order was the burger. The shake tasted like either caramel or butterscotch, two flavors I absolutely cannot stand in, on, or around ice cream, or even by themselves for that matter. I didn't check the shake until I got home, so at that point I didn't feel like wasting more money in gas driving back to get it corrected (assuming they even would) so I just chucked the shake in the garbage can.
How do you screw up a milkshake? I mean seriously, you should be able to tell the difference between peanut butter and caramel, or whatever the hell was put in my shake. Here's some food for thought, what if I was allergic to peanuts and ordered a caramel shake? Then I'd be too busy rushing to the hospital to get a refund. Thanks a lot, Sonic. I'm never eating at Sonic's again. These two incidents happened at two different locations, the only two Sonic restaurants in my town, so I don't have a "third option" anyway. Try hiring some people that can get the order right, seriously.
TALLADEGA, ALABAMA -- My son's birthday is Monday. I had money saved on my card to purchase his birthday cake tomorrow. I check the balance on my card and I have a negative balance. I check the history on my card. Everyday this month, Sonic has been taking unauthorized money from my account. They have caused my account to be over drafted. I have not even been there and my card is with me at work in my pocket. I am so through with this place. I gave them a second chance, and now this! Now my son can't have his cake for his 8th birthday!!!! I have an overdraft fee!!! I have had to cancel my card because I fear they will keep adding more payments.
I will NEVER return to another Sonic for anything. Talladega, Alabama Sonic is horrible. I wouldn't recommend a Sonic to a ghost town!!
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- OMG! I wish I had read this site before purchasing two gift cards on 12/15. They were stocking stuffers and I ended up only giving out one. However, I thought I would just use the leftover one on 12/31. It had never been out of my purse, yet $0.00 balance. I don't have a receipt because of some issue inside. I had waited a long time for the food and the gift cards. The girl brought out the food and I didn't wait for them to figure out what was going on. Well, not a good move on my part. However, I read other complaints that said it didn't matter. Receipt or no, there was nothing Sonic would do.
So, I sent an email. I tried to call. All I can do now is let everyone know what happened. I am in a car pool that stops at Sonic every day. I'm so going to stop that. I am done with them. It is all I can do at this point.
I stop in one of three Sonic drive inns per day. I always get a large route 44 drink. Usually sweet tea to drink. Once a car hop told me I was allowed a refill if I wanted. So I said okay. Today 2-26-11 I went to another Sonic and when halfway through, I asked for a refill. They were like, "We don't give refills... We can sell you another drink". So I said, "No, that's okay... I will go to the other Sonic where I have gotten one before".
People, I usually tip $3.00 on a $5.00 order... so it is not like I am asking for too much. I go there daily for Pete's sake!!! By the way, I get my refills at Sonic Nolensville, TN and Smyrna, TN. No refills at Almaville rd. Sonic in Smyrna.
HEPHZIBAH, GEORGIA -- I don't know where to start. It is just too many problems with the Sonic on 2505 Tobacco Rd Hephzibah, GA 30815-7091 (706) 796-7654. Let's start out with a worm in my strawberry/cherry limeade oh, oh, oh and the strings in my java chiller, no wait how about the old crumbling buns, old hamburgers with holes, and charging extra for ingredients that make the product. How are you going to charge me for hot fudge on a sundae when I order a hot fudge sundae. Or charging me for java mix that makes the java chiller.
I have had enough with this location, my next step is a lawyer, the health department, and News 12 on Your Side. I should have done so a long time ago. By the way, if you know someone that works there that trust you a little bit, it's worth chatting with them, they tend to be very honest on "Why you don't want to eat at that location."
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA -- During my last visit at a Sonic drive-in I encountered very rude customer service. The young man that took my order was yelling into the speaker. He told me they were closed and then he said "no we aren't." He asked for my order. Before I proceeded, I asked him to lower his voice and explained that he was yelling. It was so loud that it hurt my ear. He told me "I am not yelling" even louder and laughed. I thought this was rather rude. His manager was there and never said a word. Apparently it was the end of his shift because he came outside where he was met by a co-worker who said that he could hear him all the way by the trash cans in the back of the store.
This was the worst customer experience ever. The guy was just rude and malicious for no reason. I will never return to this Sonic!!!